Very recently, Microsoft introduced their Beta version of Socl, to the Internet community. For anyone who is unaware of the new social network, let me begin by saying that I have heard it called a “bastardized Pinterest,” among other things and I am not surprised to learn that it is not being widely accepted; by a majority of my peers. Looking back, neither was G+ though. Nevertheless, regardless of anyone’s feelings about another social network, let me begin by saying that Socl serves a different purpose for Microsoft; and I suspect even Yahoo! and as well.
Let’s face it, Microsoft knows that it has little (if any) chance of reaching the widespread adoption that Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter or even Pinterest enjoy, however they do have a keen interest in social signals; and their influence on search engine results. At the moment, Microsoft is happy to provide Socl accounts to it’s most loyal MSN users, and use their social behavior to influence search results. Why? I don’t think that Microsoft is frantically seeking new search users, I believe they are trying to create a better search experience for their existing clients. This will in turn inspire peer recommendations and result in a steady stream of new users for Bing search and Socl, as well.
Wait a minute! What does Yahoo! have to do with this? As a result of an earlier decade-long deal, Bing provides the search technology for Yahoo! and thus the once-dominant search engine will grind to a halt for 10 years; replaced by Microsoft’s often-revamped and newly branded Bing. With that being said, it appears that the social signals offered by Socl, may affect Yahoo! search results in the future, in much the same manner that (I believe) a Google profile helps rankings. Suddenly, Socl becomes extremely important for search engine and Internet marketing firms, who will need to continuously provide satisfactory results in the Bing and Yahoo! search results; as well as Google’s.